EV Owners Eating Up Electricity At Night −

Electric Car Costs / Prices

Published on July 10th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


EV Owners Eating Up Electricity At Night

ev-use-1A common argument against electric vehicles is that all the charging they do from home sockets is going to drive up electric costs. And after analyzing just how much electricity EV owners in the U.S. are gobbling up every night, that argument might just hold some weight.

Opower studied the electrical usage of 2,000 anonymous EV owners in the Western United States to analyze their day and night time energy usage, and what they found was that after midnight, when electricity is at its cheapest, EV owners’ energy usage triples the normal household.


Granted, most of us aren’t running an electric stove or dryer at 3 AM, and power companies have caught on to the EV craze too. Special, lower nightly rates can save EV drivers a lot of money, and the power company doesn’t have to deal with the extra burden of supply electricity to thousands of EV owners charging as soon as they get home. EV owners also use about 21% more electricity during daytime hours too though, as the occasional daytime charge gobbles up plenty of kWh.

Even so, electric cars remain a lot cheaper to operate, though there could come a day when electricity rates are forced to rise as demand for EVs continues to rise. What will happen to electric cars then?


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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing -- otherwise, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • It would be helpful to say that the reason that electricity is less expensive at night is their baseload generation plants – the ones that are able to run at a (more or less) constant level and that are low(er) cost to run often generate too much electricity for the typical nighttime loads, so they lower the price to encourage people to use it at night. Because this avoids problems – so having EVs “soak up” the excess is a perfect match, and it is beneficial both for the power companies and for the customers.

  • Steve Grinwis

    What happens to EV’s? Their owners install solar panels, and drive the cost of hydro down…

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